Tag Archives: healthy affordable housing

How Healthy You Are Also Depends on Where You Live

See on Scoop.itChicago healthy homes

Care2.comHow Healthy You Are Also Depends on Where You LiveSeattle Post Intelligencer (blog)A report titled “America’s Health Rankings” is annually issued by the United Health Foundation under the sponsorship of the UnitedHealth Group to identify…

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

December nights in Chicago remind me there are other (warmer) cities to call home.

See on blog.seattlepi.com


Energy forum opens in Italy to explore affordable green building solutions – Global Times

See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

Energy forum opens in Italy to explore affordable green building solutionsGlobal Times… not enough,” he said.

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

This post states that from 2020, new European Union laws will require new buildings to be built at net-zero energy consumption. If true very impressive…leading the way.

Topics Include:

Green, healthy homes, healthy homes Chicago, sustainable, sustainable architecture, healthy home owner education, green building energy efficiency, green building preparation and development

See on www.globaltimes.cn

Seven ways to a healthy home: Make well

Seven ways to a healthy home: Make wellness a priority this winter – Houston Chronicle http://ow.ly/fZ3ti #healthyhomes

#USGBC Is at it again with this awesome interactive and innovative website they just launched to promote the global initiatives being discovered and improved around the world. GBIG

Green Building Information Gateway http://ow.ly/fYHml #healthyhomes

Home energy retrofits reducing healthcare costs!

Home energy retrofits reducing healthcare costs | SmartPlanet http://ow.ly/fV1vv #healthyhomes

Buildings: Global Consumption and Sustainability

I wanted to share these thoughts I wrote one night a few months ago when  the thoughts and data which were floating around in my head came together which is the primary purpose for my putting all this new energy into this blog and this career. It is more than a job, It is a mission:

Buildings: Global Consumption & Sustainability

When I was born there were 3 billion people on the earth. When I turned 40 there were 6 billion people on the earth. When my daughters turns 40 there will be over 12 billion people on the earth.

“If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the US, four complete planets the size of the Earth would be required. Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.”

At the current rate of population growth and human consumption at some point there is no debate the earth will not be able to supply the resources necessary to meet societies needs and our current rate of consumption.

At this inevitable rate of growth the time to act is now before it’s too late. If we continue to build homes that demand the current resources to build, maintain and operate our homes and commercial spaces the point on the graph where these two points meet will likely be in my lifetime but in most cases in my daughter’s lifetime and I cannot as a responsible parent and as a steward of the planet allow this to happen.

Building Science Digests

The construction and operation of buildings consumes over a third of the world’s energy consumption, and 40% of all the mined resources. Striving to make buildings more sustainable, while saving construction and operating costs and improving health and occupant well being is not only possible and practical, it should be the goal of the building industry. Achieving this goal requires an awareness of the problem and the skills to design, specify, construct, and operate buildings in a manner that is often quite different from current standard approaches. This digest will review the challenge of sustainability, discuss methods of assessing green buildings, and recommend a process by which more sustainable buildings can be delivered.


Consumption by the United States

In the United States:

Reducing consumption without reducing use is a costly delusion. If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the US, four complete planets the size of the Earth would be required.

Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.

On average, one American consumes as much energy as

2 Japanese

6 Mexicans

13 Chinese

31 Indians

128 Bangladeshis

307 Tanzanians

370 Ethiopians

The population is projected to increase by nearly 130 million people – the equivalent of adding another four states the size of California – by the year 2050.

Forty percent of births are unintended.

Americans eat 815 billion calories of food each day – that’s roughly 200 billion more than needed – enough to feed 80 million people.

Americans throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily.

The average American generates 52 tons of garbage by age 75.

The average individual daily consumption of water is 159 gallons, while more than half the world’s population lives on 25 gallons.

Fifty percent of the wetlands, 90% of the northwestern old-growth forests, and 99% of the tall-grass prairie have been destroyed in the last 200 years.

Eighty percent of the corn grown and 95% of the oats are fed to livestock.

Fifty-six percent of available farmland is used for beef production.

Every day an estimated nine square miles of rural land are lost to development.

There are more shopping malls than high schools.

Other Facts:

250 million people have died of hunger-related causes in the past quarter-century — roughly 10 million each year.

700 to 800 million people, perhaps even as many as a billion, don’t get enough food to support normal daily activities

Africa now produces 27% less food per capita than in 1964.

1.7 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and by the year 2000, the number of urban dwellers without access to safe water and sanitation services is expected to grow by 80%.

0.1% of pesticides applied to crops reaches the pest, the rest poisons the ecosystem.

Each year 25 million people are poisoned by pesticides in less developed countries, and over 20,000 die.

One-third of the world’s fish catch and more than one-third of the world’s total grain output is fed to livestock.

It takes an average of 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat in modern Western farming systems. It takes 5,214 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef.

Each person in the industrialized world uses as much commercial energy as 10 people in the developing world.

source: Paul Ehrlich and the Population Bomb / PBS

To our Healthy Homes. It is more than just a fleeting thought or idea. It is a mission.

Lets make sustainable housing for everyone – Steve Glenn

For those that don’t know who Steve Glenn is check out this ‘DoLecture” video below and see how his group is putting sustainable building methods and practices to work in Los Angeles and around the globe. The mission is strong and one I believe can be replicated here in Chicago. He starts off by discussing his past, his inspirations and his business mission and vision. He hires an architect and builds his own home using top award-winning architect Ray Kappe and the results are inspiring. 

Here are some of my notes from the video I wanted to share:


  • There are companies that wed process and purpose. Both business imperative and social imperatives. Purposeful businesses. Prius, Whole Foods, Patagonia
  • Golden Rule: believe in a greater social mission with your business models. 
  • Developers are more important than architects. They hire architects to meet their vision. 


  •   GREAT DESIGN: appreciate products with great design (form and function)
  •   HEALTHY & SUSTAINABLE; products that are healthy and built in a sustainable way
  •   NO SUPPLY: can’t find homes that reflect these values

Living Homes Model: 

  •   World-class architects who design standardized Living Homes
  •   Extremely comprehensive (Z6) environmental program
  •   Pre-fab to make homes better, quicker, cheaper and smaller ecological footprint

Ray Kappe LIving Homes (SiArch)

Kieran Timberlake Living Homes

Jim Rouse    Better Places, Better Lives: Autobiography of James Rouse

New Urbanism: Festival Market Places

The Enterprise Board; Grants and loans for affordable housing


4 systems: 

  •   Manufactured (wheels -movable / HUD control)
  •   Modular (built in pieces and assembled on site/ City jurisdiction
  •   Panelized homes
  •   Pre-cut/Kit homes


  1. Time savings 1/2 or at least 1/3 faster than site built
  2. Materials savings/Efficiency (30-40% standard site built waste production vs 3-10% pre-fab waste). Store materials onsite of fabrications
  3. Modules: expensive to ship (air not flat)
  4. Panels ; flat easier to ship; more efficient 
    1. Living Homes uses a combination of Modules and Panels: 
      1. bathrooms/kitchens/utility cores ; LivingHomes uses modules
      2. walls and floors LivingHomes uses pre-fab panels systems
  5. US Buildings:
    1. 39% of All Energy for US goes to Buildings
    2. 71% of electrical consumption
  1. Energy: zero-energy very important
    1. tight envelopes 
    2. energy efficiency
    3. zero water
    4. zero energy
    5. emissions/ IAQ
    6. plants and indoor air quality system
    7. steel is highly recyclable
    8. newsprint insulation

Movable partitions to allow growth

Add rooms and stories

Young adult to family to down size after move out

Zero Ignorance

  • make responsible choices
  • Prius feedback

Lucent Technologies

performance technology and measuring of homes

Homes Sustainability Score Card

Image (image borrowed from www.dolectures.com)